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Does anyone have an infant car seat that Peter & Lydia can borrow until May 25th?

Families of Immanuel,

The Elders had the idea of incorporating catechesis into the Children’s Blessing and Dismissal time on Sundays. Catechesis is the long-standing practice of passing on important Christian beliefs through questions and answers.

So each week one of the Elders would ask the kids the answer to a question like, “What is our only hope in life and death?” And one or more of them would shout out, “That we are not our own, but belong to God.” It would not only shape our children, but bless the rest of the congregation too.

For this to work, it will require families to be memorizing the catechism throughout the week at home. We have picked the New City Catechism – a modern tool that is based on historic catechisms and is adapted for use with children. It is comprised of 52 questions and answers – one for each week of the year. They are short and can easily be worked on around the dinner table, during Family Worship, or at bedtime.

Adults can also go through it and memorize the longer answers. There are accompanying Bible verses, explanations, videos, and prayers for optional devotional use. There is a more detailed introduction to the concept and content here.

We recommend that if possible Dads take the initiative and the lead in teaching the catechism to their kid(s) throughout the week. I (Nathan) have been doing this with my kids for several years now and have found that it’s actually quite fun for all involved. Kids’ minds are sponges. It’s not beyond the reach of a 2 year old to memorize many of these answers. 4 and 5 year olds can memorize more than you might think.

Some may question the usefulness of 2 year olds merely parroting memorized answers to these questions. But the classical educational model understands that we naturally progress through stages of grammar, dialectic (logic), and rhetoric. Michael Horton explains:

In our youngest years, we’re sponges for the grammar – not just of language but of everything. It’s the time for learning primary colors, common names for things and proper names for people, how to read books and music, and table manners.… [Children are] learning the grammar that they will use simply as a matter of course throughout their lives. Then there’s the stage of dialectic (logic), when they love to argue, question, and explore the connections between various subjects. (It’s called being a teenager!) Finally, they reach the stage of rhetoric as they begin to communicate their convictions in their own words, with richer insight, clarity, persuasiveness, and beauty….

As children, we learned to ride a bicycle first by focusing on the pedals and the handlebar, steering with jerks to the left and the right. After we fell a few times, we gradually mastered balance. If we learned a musical instrument, we focused on the keys and the scale, staring intently at the notes on the page…. Only after a lot of practice do we begin to play the music without focusing on our fingers. Eventually we find ourselves living in the music, indwelling it….

Growth in Christian discipleship can be compared to this model of learning. First, we learn the basic grammar. It certainly includes memorizing. That’s why it’s important to commit key Bible verses to memory, and it’s why the Reformation restored the early church’s practice of catechism, in which parents as well as pastors were to teach to the young and old alike.

So our goal isn’t for it to end at rote memorization. We have Sunday School classes for older kids where they can begin to enter into the dialectic phase and engage with these terms and truths. And our prayer is our children will enter the rhetoric stage well equipped to fully inhabit the faith themselves. But if one is going to be a poet, she has to start with learning the alphabet.

We plan to start with Question 1 on Sunday, April 6th, and do one per week. If you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to ask!

PRELUDE – “Voice of the Lord” by Dustin Kensrue

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP –

Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!” The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Song –

Indescribable” by Jesse Reeves and Laura Story

CONFESSION OF SIN –

Almighty and most merciful Father,

we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep,

we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,

we have offended against Your holy laws,

we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,

and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.

But You, O Lord, have mercy upon us,

spare those who confess their faults,

restore those who are repentant,

according to Your promise declared to humankind in Christ Jesus our Lord;

and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,

that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,

to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON –

“[Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Therefore, “do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32).

Songs –

This Is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham

Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder” by John Newton

PRAYER

LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL

Song –

Speak, O Lord” by Getty and Townend

SCRIPTURE READING – Hebrews 12:25-29

SERMON – “Receiving an Unshakeable Kingdom”

LORD’S TABLE

Songs –

Worthy Is the Lamb” by Darlene Zschech

My Hope Is Build On Nothing Less” by Edward Mote and Nicky Chiswell

OFFERING

Song –

Let Your Kingdom Come” by Bob Kauflin

BENEDICTION – Colossians 1:10-12

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “The Rock Won’t Move” by Vertical Church Band

Anna has a friend who lives in Antioch, IL, who is looking for a summer nanny for her three school-age children.

They are a Christian family and really nice. This is a paid live-in position.

Contact her for more details – mrsannawagler

PRELUDE – “Fix My Eyes” by King’s Kaleidoscope

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP

The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the LORD in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name – he is holy. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy” (Ps. 99:1-3, 9).

Song –

Immortal Invisible God Only Wise” by Walter Chalmers Smith

CONFESSION OF SIN

“God dwells in unapproachable light. In light of his holiness and majesty, let us humbly confess our sin and unworthiness…”

God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

“Hear the Good News: we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, the mediator of a new and better covenant. Therefore, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”

Thanks be to God!

Songs –

Rejoice” by Dustin Kensrue

O Praise Him” by David Crowder

PRAYER

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL

Song –

Speak, O Lord” by Getty and Townend

SCRIPTURE READING – Hebrews 12:18-24

SERMON – “Coming to God through Jesus”

LORD’S TABLE

Songs –

Nothing But the Blood” by Matt Redman

Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder” by John Newton

OFFERING

Song –

Jesus My Only Hope” by Mark Altrogge

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “It Is Finished” by Dustin Kensrue

One way to be an engaged neighbor in the UIC Area is to study up a bit on the political issues and be sure to vote. You may not know for sure who would be best and it may feel like it doesn’t matter, but it at least keeps you in the mindset of “This is my home and I care about its flourishing!”

Primaries are tomorrow. Here’s one place you can go to find more information.

PRELUDE – “Awesome” by Charles Jenkins

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP

Songs –

Behold Our God” by Baird, Baird, Baird, and Altrogge

Come Thou Fount” by Robert Robinson

CONFESSION OF SIN

Song –

Kindness” by Chris Tomlin

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

“The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14).

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell and on the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYER

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL

Song –

Take My Life (Holiness)” by Scott Underwood

SCRIPTURE READING – Hebrews 12:14-17

SERMON – “Living in Peace and Holiness”

LORD’S TABLE

Songs –

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts

Glorious Christ” by Bob Kauflin

OFFERING

Song –

Sing to the King” by Billy Foote

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “It Is Finished” by Dustin Kensrue

On the third Sunday of every month people are invited to stay after the service for lunch and stimulating discussion.

This year the format is a literary club. You bring a snippet of something you’ve been reading and share it with the group and we discuss.

Let Pastor Nathan know if you’re coming and if you have something to share (you can come even if you don’t!).

This Sunday (3/9) is Daylight Saving Sunday. Make sure you move your clocks forward one hour on Saturday night so that you arrive at Worship on time.

PRELUDE – “God is Good” by Dustin Kensrue

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP – Psalm 66:8-12

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Song –

This is My Father’s World” by Babcock and Sheppard

CONFESSION OF SIN –

Lord God, eternal and almighty Father: We acknowledge before your holy majesty that we are poor sinners, conceived and born in guilt and in corruption, prone to do evil, unable of our own power to do good. Because of our sin, we endlessly violate your holy commandments.

But, O Lord, with heartfelt sorrow we repent and turn away from all our offenses. We condemn ourselves and our evil ways, with true sorrow asking that your grace will relieve our distress.

Have compassion on us, most gracious God, Father of mercies, for the sake of your son Jesus Christ our Lord. And in removing our guilt, also grant us daily increase of the grace of your Holy Spirit, and produce in us the fruits of holiness and of righteousness pleasing in your sight: Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

– Adapted from John Calvin’s Geneva Liturgy of 1543

ASSURANCE OF PARDON – Ephesians 1:4-7

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Songs –

Come Praise and Glorify” by Bob Kauflin and Tim Chester

How Can I Keep From Singing?” by Chris Tomlin

I Have a Maker” by Tommy Walker

PRAYER

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL

Song –

Reign in Us” by Glover, Neufield, & Neufield

SCRIPTURE READING – Hebrews 12:4-13

SERMON – “The Father’s Discipline”

LORD’S TABLE (Nathan)

Songs –

How Deep the Father’s Love” by Stuart Townend

Worthy is the Lamb” by Hillsong

OFFERING

Song –

Reign in Us

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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